Question to answer: Whether current immigration policies- H-1B visa and permanent-resident visa quotas- for highly skilled workers are solving the problem of the shortage of skilled workers and the effects of these policies on foreign skilled workers, foreign students graduating from U.S. universities, businesses such as Microsoft, and the U.S. economy. How can Congress balance the interests of the U.S. need to retain the brightest and best to compete in the global market with immigration quotas?
This note will explore whether Bill Gates' proposal in reforming the immigration system by extending student visa OPT, increasing the cap for permanent resident visas, and raising the H-1B quota is necessary. Section I will give an overview of H-1B visas. Section II will look at the H-1B debate from both the opponents and proponents sides, while Section III will address solutions and in particular, Bill Gates proposal and whether it should be implemented. Finally, this note will look at what the policy implications are that the private sector is lobbying Congress for immigration reform
- and more integration rather than enforcement in immigration policy.
I have a brief outline and a more detailed outline with a lot of research, some repetitive points, but it needs to be organized in subsections to help answer the question. The short outline pasted below is the one to follow in terms of general order and how the pieces fit, while the longer outline which will be emailed has a lot of sources and quotes, but the order is different and not to be followed. The main order is here is the problem (problem with H-1B quota), why there is a problem (showing both sides of the proponents and opponents and intersections with foreign student visa and permanent resident visas), and how the problem should be solved.
All quotes and assertions need to be followed by the author and page number in parenthesis, including the sources I have included (if not author, then title of work or article). The outline is mostly direct quotes from the sources, but there should not be a lot of quotes throughout the paper, mainly rewording and still citing to the source that the idea came from. Do not use a lot of direct quotations, but rather reword the quote and still cite to the source the assertion came from. Please use a total of 30 sources, which can include the sources from the outline I am sending, as long as in total there are 30 sources.
Also at the end of the long outline is an interview with Bill Kamela, the policy counsel for Microsoft which is not integrated into the outline but should be used in the paper.
Outline to more or less follow:
a. This note will explore whether Bill Gates' proposal in reforming the immigration system by extending student visa OPT, increasing the cap for permanent resident visas, and raising the H-1B quota is necessary. Section I will look at ...Section II will look at ..., while Section III will address solutions and in particular, Bill Gates proposal and whether it should be implemented.
b. Issue: Whether current immigration policies- H-1B visa and permanent-resident visa quotas- for highly skilled workers are solving the problem of the shortage of skilled workers and the effects of these policies on foreign skilled workers, foreign students graduating from U.S. universities, businesses such as Microsoft, and the U.S. economy. How can Congress balance the interests of the U.S. need to retain the brightest and best to compete in the global market with immigration quotas?
c. While this note only reflects the H-1B visa debate, this is part of a larger issue that affects immigration policy as a whole, the issue this reflects is of a much larger governmental policy failure which is immigration reform
. If the U.S. cannot handle immigration reform
to attract highly skilled workers, then how can the U.S. possibly deal with immigration reform
as a whole? What does the fact that a private business is now lobbying Congress for immigration reform
say about Congress' inaction to reform
d. Why does this issue matter? It is affecting our economy, businesses, and foreign workers- by continuing this quota, the U.S. is almost forcing foreign talent to go to other countries and contribute to their economies as well as forcing U.S. businesses to outsource since they cannot bring foreign talent into the U.S.
2. History of Immigration Policies/Quotas
3. Overview of H-1B Visa
a. The H-1B program was established by the Immigration Act of 1990 to allow nonimmigrant aliens to work in specialty occupations in the United States for up to six years. Although an H-1B visa does not directly result in legal permanent residence, visa holders may apply for permanent residency through employer sponsorships. (21 BYE J. Pub. L. 153 P 157)
c. What is happening with the H-1B visa now and how its screwing things up
d. Impact of H-1B visa (why should people care about this visa)
i. The United States will find it far more difficult to maintain its competitive edge over the next 50 years if it excludes those who are able and willing to help us compete. Other nations are benefiting from our misguided policies. They are revising their immigration policies to attract highly talented students and professionals who would otherwise study, live and work in the United States for at least part of their careers. (Written testimony of William H. Gates Before the Committee on Science and Technology, United States House of Representatives, P 14)
ii. Shortage of Engineers
iii. Creation of jobs
v. Effects on companies such as Microsoft
vi. F-1 Visa- Foreign Students (problem H-1B places on foreign students and how these problems feed one another)
vii. Permanent Visa Issues (same as the foreign student problems, H-1B intersects with permanent visas and this is part of the problem H-1B visas have)
4. H-1B visa debate
a. Transition (For example (though expand on this of course): The above problems demonstrate the inefficiencies of the H-1B visa program. However, this is not to say that the H-1B visa program should be scrapped. In fact, the program is good because …, as discussed below.)
b. Proponents of the H-1B visa
i. The H-1B visa has been the subject of many debates among politicians, corporations, and workers. As President Bush said, "Immigration is not a problem to be solved. It is a sign of a confident and successful nation." Leah Phelps Carpenter, The Status of the H-1B Visa in These Conflicting Times, 10 Tulsa J. Comp. & Int'l L. 553, 554 (2003)
ii. Our tradition of allowing immigrants into the U.S. has led us to become "the beneficiary of the world's most talented and renowned research scientists, economists, engineers, mathematicians, computer scientists, and other professionals." Suzette Brooks Masters and Ted Ruthizer, The H-1B Straightjacket: Why Congress Should Repeal the Cap on Foreign Born Highly Skilled Workers, 00-05 Immigr. Briefings 1 (2000). By not allowing these immigrants into the U.S. we could possibly stunt our leading role in these areas.
c. What has led to the current H1-B visa program
i. Transition (For example: Unfortunately, the way the program has been changed and/or is run now, has created numerous problems.)
ii. Legislative/Legal History of current H-1B visa program
iii. Brief Discussion of any legal attempts to change the program (e.g., cases, lobbying congress, etc.)
1. End with transition into Solution section
b. Opponents of the H-1B Visa
i. Hurts American jobs
ii. Cheap Labor
iii. America has sufficient scientific talent
1. Administering the H-1B visa program involves corruption, but fact that its abused doesn't mean we don't need it. It is true that the H1-B program has been abused by some companies, but the answer isn't to punish the H1-B program, but to punish the abusers. The solution rather, would be to implement cost-effective methods Labor could use to check the applications more stringently that would enhance the integrity of the H-1B process.
5. Solution (be clear in you’re writing and delineate what others are proposing, and what you’re saying about these proposals, what others may think about these proposals, and which you endorse and would change and why- do not endorse point based or other solutions, endorse most of gates proposal except the streamlined path to citizenship for foreign student visas)
a. Point Based System- Is that a solution for the U.S.?
b. Other solutions/ bills
c. Bill Gates proposal
i. Bill Gates proposal in reforming both our education
system and our immigration policies by specifically extending the amount of time foreign students are permitted to stay in connection with their degree program, creating a streamlined path to permanent resident status for highly skilled workers and increasing the cap on visas could help to resolve the effects of .
ii. Senator Baird spoke about the importance of training the next generation of scientists and engineers and of funding critical basic research in applied science. He said "if we want our economies to be strong, we must invest in science. Senator Baird, 154 Cong. Rec. H1561-02
1. Reform education
system, which is as important as reforming immigration policies, will not be addressed in this paper.
1. Extending amount of time foreign students are permitted to stay in connection with their degree program.
a. Until recently, these students had 12 months to be accepted into the H-1B visa. Now they have 29 months to stay in the United States as a student worker. (Associated Press: Highly Skilled Foreign Students Can Stay in U.S. Longer)
b. Not mentioned in Gates proposal, but necessary, is that it should be possible for foreign students earning advanced degrees in key fields to have the option at the time they apply for their visa to declare an interest in working in the United States after graduation. (nafsa.org: Immigration Reform
and Attracting Foreign Talent)
i. The current law for student and scholar visas prevents the United States from benefiting from the contributions of foreign students who might want to stay here, whether for the long term or for a few years. (nafsa.org: Immigration Reform
and Attracting Foreign Talent)
2. Congress should create a streamlined path to permanent resident status for highly skilled workers.
a. Rather than allowing highly skilled, well-trained innovators to remain for only a very limited period, we should encourage a greater number to become permanent U.S. residents so that they can help drive innovation and economic growth alongside America's native-born talent. (Written testimony of William H. Gates Before the Committee on Science and Technology, United States House of Representatives, P 15)
b. Instead of requiring graduates from top universities who receive jobs from American corporations to go through the tedious H-1B visa process, we should provide a direct path to permanent residence. We need to do all we can to attract and keep skilled immigrants, rather than bring them here temporarily, train them, and send them home. (American.com: America's Other Immigration Crisis)
c. This is not a feasible solution, but at a minimum, make it possible for foreign students earning advanced degrees in key fields to have the option at the time they apply for their visa to declare an interest in working in the United States after graduation. (Nafsa.com: Immigration Reform
and Attracting Foreign Talent)
3. Congress should increase the cap on visas
a. By increasing the number of visas granted each year, Congress can help U.S. industry meet its near-term need for qualified workers even as we build up our long-term capability to supply these workers domestically through education reform
. (Written testimony of William H. Gates Before the Committee on Science and Technology, United States House of Representatives, P 15)
b. Senator Gregg is in favor of expanding the H-1B program. He said "even though there may have been abuses in the program; I don’t think they were at the core of the problem; that the primary energy of this program has been to create jobs in the United States by bringing smart people here. We should be going across the world and saying to the best and the brightest in the world, if you want to come to the United States and be a job center that adds to the value of our economy, we would like to have you come. We would like to consider you as being a participant under an H-1B visa program. Senator Gregg, 154 Cong. Rec. S1917-01
4. In addition to raising the caps and allowing a streamlined path to permanent residency, the H-1B program itself needs reform
in conjunction with increasing the numbers in order to minimize the abuse that occurs from employers and give the Department of Labor more power over this program. Senator Grassley, 154 Cong. Rec. S2029-05
6. Policy Implications
1. Enforcement v Integration
i. Less enforcement focus and more integration (government is calling for enforcement while private sector like Microsoft is calling for more integration)
2. What does Microsoft's influencing immigration policy say about our immigration policy? Reflection of where our broken immigration policy is at. It is so ineffective that Microsoft and other businesses have to speak up.
3. America seems to be xenophobic even of the model immigrant worker- the highly skilled- what does that mean for other immigration policy reforms
7. Conclusion (Overall, this is what I propose, why it works, why it addresses the issues, and what will happen if there’s no change (ie., why it matters))
1. The current restrictions on employing highly skilled foreign workers are hurting America's economy. Many occupations requiring workers with advanced skills are at full employment. There are not enough domestic workers with advanced skills available to fill the positions that businesses need to have filled. Many companies have been forced to expand operations overseas instead of in the United States because of the shortage of highly skilled workers for key positions. Congress should raise the H-1B cap to let businesses expand operations in America and to create jobs for Americans. Each highly skilled H-1B employee at a high-tech company supports the jobs for four Americans. The increased demand for workers with complementary skills both raises wages and reduces inequality. (Heritage Center Report, P 4)
2. It is possible that federal legislators will consider other immigration provisions, but insiders predict that there will be no immigration legislation until Fall 2009 and that any future H-1B relief proposals would need to be part of a larger comprehensive immigration reform
There are faxes for this order.
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